Marilyn Jane Kelley

June 27, 1950-Oct. 19, 2020


Marilyn Jane Kelley, 70, of Crawfordsville lost her courageous, 26-year battle with Parkinson’s Disease when she passed away on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020. We imagine she was greeted in Heaven with a chorus of “Well done, good and faithful servant!” You have never met a more selfless, loving, and kind person; hers was a life well-lived.

She was born June 27, 1950, at Washington, Indiana, to the late Clarence Eugene White and Dorothy Mae (Houtsch) White. She graduated from Petersburg High School in 1968, and was the first in her family to earn a four-year college degree when she graduated from Indiana State University in 1972. Marilyn was the proud mother of two grown children, Jason Shawn Jones and Heather Marie (Jones) Thrush. She was a devoted mother. A single mother most of her life, she worked a full-time job, but also managed to cook dinner, help with school work, support her children’s interests, and — most important — teach her children resilience by the steadfast way she lived her life, a life full of many challenges and personal losses. She made many sacrifices so that her children could have a better life, and for this we are forever grateful. Marilyn was also blessed with two grandchildren, Landon Tyler and Delaney Rose Jones, both of whom she loved dearly and was very proud. It gave her great joy to watch Landon act in plays and Delaney play basketball and run cross-country; she loved watching her grandchildren participate in things that they loved. Later in life, she was also blessed with a step-granddaughter, Allee Thrush, whom she enjoyed spending time with and getting to know over the years.

She was a loyal employee of 23 years at D.A. Lubricant in Indianapolis, where she held many positions and made life-long friends. Marilyn was an avid crafter and a talented seamstress. She loved quilting, sewing, crafting, reading and cats. After she retired in 1997, she spent many hours volunteering at various community organizations in Washington. She was a giver. She loved to help people and to share her many talents. She also worked part-time as a Secretary at Bethel United Methodist Church in Washington, IN, where she was a member.

Left behind to mourn her passing and to celebrate her life are her children, Jason (Debra) Jones, Morris, Illinois, and Heather (Cory) Thrush, Crawfordsville; her grandchildren, Landon Jones and Delaney Jones of Morris; step-granddaughter Allee Thrush of Crawfordsville; siblings, Alan (Teresa) Houtsch, Gloria (Pat) Roberts, Bill (Susie) White, Darlene (Bobby) Hartley and Jeff (Amy) White; mother-in-law Betty Kelley; as well as many cousins, nieces, nephews and loving friends. She was preceded in death by her parents and infant brother Richard.

The family would like to thank the caring staff of nurses and CNAs that took great care of our beloved Marilyn over the last six years. Nurses: Angela, Cassie, Judy, Lynette, Rhonda, Melissa, Michelle, Tina, and Tracy; CNAs: Amber, Brittany, Carri, Cheyanne, Elizabeth, Gail, Kasey, Kandace, Kay, Karley, Karly, Kim M., Kim E., Lynn, Linda, Missie, and Nicole; Activity Staff: Ember, Kaysha, and Sherry. You not only made nursing home life bearable, you made it fun! We will be forever grateful for the love, care, and compassion you showed her and us in her final years.

A celebration of life is planned for Nov. 14 at Bethel United Methodist Church in Washington. Family and friends may call 1-3 p.m. with a celebration of Marilyn’s life at 3 p.m. Burial will follow at Walnut Hills Cemetery in Petersburg.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Marilyn’s name to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research Masks and social distancing will be required at the church and cemetery.


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